Will North Carolina Make Documenting Abuse on Factory Farms Illegal?


Editor’s Note: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory vetoed this bill, saying: “While I support the purpose of this bill, I believe it does not adequately protect or give clear guidance to honest employees who uncover criminal activity.”

Last week, the North Carolina senate approved a bill with a relatively unassuming namethe Property Protection Act. If the bill becomes a law, however, the state’s large animal farms, and a number of other businesses, will benefit from a new level of legal protection against workers looking to shed light on animal abuse or criminal activity. Read More

Airport Beekeepers Get a Second Chance


Every 10 days, Thad Smith enters a piece of land that is otherwise forbidden to most people: The empty acreage around Chicago’s O’Hare airport. It’s there that Smith and his crew from the Westside Bee Boyz tend to 75 beehives. Last year, he and his fellow beekeepers harvested 1,600 pounds of honey in the otherwise unoccupied land beneath O’Hare’s airspace.  Read More

The Color of Food: Seeds of Growth for the Cherokee People

Kevin Welch

This is the final in a series of four excerpts from The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming. Read more about the book and the author here, then check out the first, second, and third posts.

The sky is a brilliant blue as I drive onto Cherokee land in the Great Smoky Mountains along the North Carolina–Tennessee border. I pull into a small driveway leading up to a modest house with a sign out front that reads “The Center for Cherokee Plants.” This is where Kevin Welch and Sarah McClellan work to save seeds and propagate plants significant to Cherokee culture.  Read More

Raj Patel: Gender Equality Missing From the Food Policy Conversation

Photo credit: Sheila Menezes.

Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist, and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin and a Senior Research Associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa.

Patel is also the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing.

We talked to him about gender displacement in the food system, the World Bank, and the Generation Food project. Read More

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: COOL Rulings, Good News on Antibiotics, and L.A.’s Minimum Wage


If you’re like most Americans, you probably want to know where the meat you buy at the supermarket comes from. Well, you might be out of luck. And we’re not talking about which farm, or even which state it comes from–but which country. A Wednesday vote by the House Agriculture Committee proposed to repeal “country-of-origin” labeling (COOL) on meat packages that included information about where in the world the animals were born, raised, and slaughtered. Read More

Boston to Launch the Nation’s First ‘All-Local’ Public Market

Outdoor Rendering of Market

The new public market opening this summer in Boston will never sell a banana or an avocado. In the winter and spring, when there are fewer vegetables in the fields, there will be fewer vegetables in the market’s stalls. And if local fishermen can’t catch it, it won’t be on offer.

The Boston Public Market will be home to about 40 vendors, who will sell fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, and honeyall grown, caught or produced in New England. Read More